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Minorities Disproportionately Arrested In U.S. For Marijuana

  • by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director June 4, 2013

    The American Civil Liberties Union released a new report affirming NORML’s historic data that minorities are disproportionately arrested (and most certainly prosecuted and, worse, incarcerated) at a rate four times higher than whites for cannabis (based on per capita cannabis use rates).

    In some midwest states–like Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota–minorities are arrested at rates eight times higher than whites.

    ACLU’s report ‘The War On Marijuana/In Black And White‘ is a fascinating and well researched multimedia presentation about why America’s failed seventy-five year-old social experiment known as ‘Cannabis Prohibition’ must end, and new public policies created that reflect today’s public sentiment in favor of such reforms.

    10 Responses to “Minorities Disproportionately Arrested In U.S. For Marijuana”

    1. Dave Evans says:

      Seriously folks this, “In some midwest states–like Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota–minorities are arrested at rates eight times higher than whites.” is what is left of the klu klux klan. White crackers making money by pushing everyone else down. This is why the klan was formed, to push blacks and other minorities aside and away from the American Dream. It sure looks like they successfully infiltrated the executive branch.

      This is nothing short of disgusting.

    2. TLC says:

      Surely this will change when a minority becomes President.
      …oh, wait…?

    3. Ben says:

      re: Dave Evans statement…

      AND the lives they touch they often cause grievous injury too.

      Unlike their lucky ivy league organizer president – they will not be able to excel into such high level roles-
      let alone the difficulties of getting employment where corporate insurance causes drug testing to be mandated. As if alcohol at night is cool, but a blunt on the weekend is a terrible society impacting problem.

      What a joke.

      Obama has failed America as a whole and the AfricanAmericans that pushed so hard to get him into office. What a fortunate specimen of fecal material.

    4. Ralph says:

      From a black person, in most cities where minorities are more prevalent they are arrested because they simply dont seem to care. I can tell you quite a few white people that are arrested in the suburbs but it is much less common than in the city where even marijuana can create violence ($$$) and support gangs. It only makes sense, I do not think for the most part it is unfair or racist but just a fact. “Together, African American and Hispanics comprised 58% of all prisoners in 2008, even though African Americans and Hispanics make up approximately one quarter of the US population” – NAACP
      I lived in Philly for 10 years and I can tell you it is disgusting what I saw on the streets, and that is the reason incarceration rates are so lopsided. I now live in the suburbs and it is night and day difference with crime and is predominantly white. Something needs to be done at the source where minorities are creating the crime rather than just complaining and calling it unfair.

    5. Dave Evans says:

      Ralph, when people are abused, they often become abusers themselves. It seems like the behavior sort of imprints on some people. The easiest way to help poor people from causing abuse is not to abuse them in the first place.

      Gangs form because the people in them were already pushed aside and told they ain’t got a future. Cheating and stealing is how you get ahead in life. There might not be any real life structure, so joining a gang and forming your own “government” then appears as way to better yourself, even though it isn’t. You’ve literally just become part of the problem–keeping people in your own neighborhood down. Skills are handed down from hardened criminal to junior criminal. But wisdom? Not so much. That’s why you should have a good reason (And marijuana isn’t) to place people in jail and disrupt their families–kids left to raise themselves tend to do a terrible job at it!

      Cut any one off from the American Dream and they will go around you, anyway they can. And mostly, rightfully so, who were you to get in their way in the first place?

      This kind of treatment always results in these kinds of results–and it is very easy to blame the victims as they aren’t the best folks around.

    6. Dave Evans says:

      Just wanted to add, the racist part is on the hand of those in charge. The judges sit on their benches rub-stamping this complete lack of justice on the part of the Executive Branch, basically saying they don’t have a choice but to go along with it.

      Pick any group or groups of people and treat them this way–you generate crime, abuse and criminals. The fact those in authority choose certain communities to abuse is what has generated a backlash of hatred for the police from many black people. How can you work hand in hand against crime with the folks helping cause it in the first place? There is too much distrust and why shouldn’t there be??? These shitty laws produce crime and get people killed day in day out.

    7. Fed-Up says:

      Ralph,I agree with what you say to a point,but i think the main reason is ,that both the ‘ gangs” as well as the ‘legal gangs'(police) are on a constant level of competition, in the inner- city ghetto areas.

      While suburban dwellers that are meekly smoking the herb, in their own residences are going to be less obvious.

      It probably has more to do with- the higher testosterone levels of the ”predators and the prey ,,,than anything else.

    8. Deborah Dills says:

      What this country is going to become, if not already are the states like mine, Washington, along with a few others that are progressive and smart enough to see that marijuana should be legal for all.
      Other states like Mississippi, Texas, for example will continue to treat minorities worse than their livestock, and continue to arrest minorities with a vengeance, just for the hell of it, and to make massive amounts of money off their incarcerations in the prison industrial machine.The elected officials in those states who will not decriminalize small amounts of marijuana are laughing all the way to the bank.
      I know.I used to live in the police state of Texas, and am white. But my sons saw first hand the heavy fist of the law come down harder on their brothers of color. If every their should be a time to revolt, the time is now. The United States has become more Fascist with every generation right before our eyes, and the population is still not speaking up.
      Our government/CIA is and has been the biggest drug dealer on this planet, all the way back to Vietnam when massive amounts of heroin came back on airplanes in coffins of our dead.
      Wake up people, wake up!!!! Jim Crow did not die. And the hatred of those of color who aren’t lily white and/or Christian/heterosexual,and god fearing did not die during the civil rights movement.

    9. Jeff says:

      I guess that means I’m screwed. I live in AZ with and have a MMJ card. I was pulled over a day after I last toked completely sober just getting done lifting and running 3 miles. I use marijuana to keep food down. I can’t toke in the day, because of my job so I just puke and deal with it.

      This happened in Gilbert, AZ…where I’m actually shocked DWBs aren’t felonies since the cops are so racist.

      [Paul Armentano responds: A provision in the 2010 medical program exempts state-qualified patients from prosecution absent behavioral impairment under the state’s zero tolerance DUI law.]

    10. fatboy says:

      Black people do their business in the street more than other people. No wonder they get arrested more.

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